Membership and Commitment to the Local Church
What is a Church Membership?
Church membership is a commitment to the local church reflecting one’s saving trust in Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord. As a member of the local church we live outwardly our commitment to Christ by sharing life together as God’s people. Our life together involves the investment of time, talents, and treasures for the building up of the church body, as well as the sharing of the Gospel with a lost and sinful world.
Who can be a Church Member?
Members of the local church are those who confess the Lord Jesus Christ as personal Lord, who show the fruit of this faith-based relationship in their life, and who have been baptized by water. These are the essential and foundational acts God does in and through us which are necessary for positional membership in the local church. Participation in an Inquirer’s Class is the necessary instructional preparation for membership in the local church.
Why is Church Membership necessary?
First, it is the fitting response of those who have been redeemed by Jesus Christ to gather with fellow members of the family of God. Second, it solidifies our commitment to one another, showing that we can be trusted and entrusted with ministry roles within the church. Third, it places us in the fellowship of other believers whereby we are enabled to grow in grace and holiness and faith, as we are matured into the full measure of Christ.
Membership and the Process of Joining
The Inquirer’s Class
The process for becoming a member of our congregation is called the Inquiry Process. Realizing that joining a church is a very large step in the life of a Christian, we provide and exploratory process whereby those interested in possibly joining the church are able to get to know us better (e.g. What do we believe?, What kinds of ministries do we offer?, Who is in leadership?, etc.) Attendance and participation in an Inquirer’s classes is required unless other provisions are made by approval of the pastor and the Session. Missed classes can be made up by arrangement with the pastor or the class leader.
After completing the Inquirer’s Class, we ask all candidates for church membership to attend an informal interview with a quorum of elders and the pastor. This is a time for meeting the elders of the church, for asking questions that have yet to be answered, and for the elders to get to know more about the faith, gifts, and life background of the candidates.
Those who have not yet been baptized shall be baptized during a service of gathered worship as a congregation.
During a service of gathered worship as a congregation, the candidates for church membership will be presented before the congregation. At this time, they will be asked to affirm the Declarations and Promises for church membership, and then they will be received and welcomed by the congregation as new members to the church family.
Membership Declarations and Promises
- Do you acknowledge yourselves to be a sinner in the sight of God, justly deserving God’s judgment and without hope except in God’s sovereign mercy?
- Do you believe in the Lord Jesus Christ as the Son of God and Savior of sinners, and do you receive and depend upon Christ alone for your salvation as offered in the Gospel?
- Do you now resolve and promise, in humble reliance upon the grace of the Holy Spirit that you will endeavor to live as becomes the followers of Christ?
- Do you promise to serve Christ in the Church by supporting and participating in its service to God and its ministry to others to the best of your ability?
- Do you submit yourself to the government and discipline of the Church and promise to further its purity and peace?
Membership and Methods of Joining the Local Church
Letter of Transfer
We will receive anyone into our membership who is in good and regular standing in any Protestant church by a simple letter of transfer from your previous church congregation.
Reaffirmation of Faith
Members of denominations that do not grant letters of transfer to churches outside their own communion are welcomed into our Presbyterian family by this method.
Profession of Faith
We also welcome anyone who would receive Jesus Christ as their Savior and Lord, as their sole hope and trust for forgiveness, and as the one who sets us right with God, with others, with the Creation and with ourselves.
You are welcome to contact our Pastor, Rev. StevenJewell, at 502-245-5515 for more information. Fax# 502-245-5519